Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Some New Photos

I kinda liked the shadows of the chain. Pity it was the last shot on the roll, so I couldn't play around. The original un-cropped one is here for reference.

The one below was actually taken last summer, despite the autumn colours. It was about 115F that day, and I was wilting. Taken in Pinnacle National Monument. Strange, the prints turned out better than the CD, and Photoshop Elements has fallen off my laptop!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Steampunk Duplo Entry

So here it is, the "Flying Crossbow".
Front View

rear view

This was a quick, fun build. Sure, not Victorian colours, but hey, they not only had compact steam sources in the Steampunk Era, they also found new pigments and dyes.

There is the upgraded long range version, the "Sky Fighter", suitable for the Empires forces.

When you consider the wing assemblies (Technic, Bionicle and Star Wars - Sail barge, and Duplo plank) come to 24 pieces each, you can see why this upgrade is not being entered for the Steampunk Impulse competition.

Parts list?

Lego - Window (police station), 4@2x2 with hinge, 1@8x2 brick, baseplate from castle/police station, 2x2 ball and socket. 9 pieces.

Duplo -
1 - Construction Technic chassis/cab
2 - safety cage
3- Exhaust pipe
4,5 - 2@ wheel
6 - baseplate
7,8 - 2@Shield
9 - Flame
10,11 - 2@8x2 plate
12 - 8x2 plate
13 - 4x2 plate
14 - Crossbow
15 - Piratical Pilot
16 - Pressure suit for high altitude flight (Knight)
17 - Space Helmet

Total 26 pieces

Friday, March 7, 2008

Red Wing Flier

This was my first reaction, after the over-sized top heavy dirigible. A natty little flier. If I could only enter one design, it would be a toss up between this in the flapper. I think the flapper is more fun, but this one is more resilient to impact.

The Technobabble
This agile little flier is based on the Phosphonic drive. A strong phospherecent, light source (glwydium found in Welsh coal mines) is combined with a photo resonating material (Chestertonium XIII), that is light causes vibration. The vibration can heat a liquid, say liquid sodium, which then passes through a heat exchanger making steam to drive the turbines.

THe bulbous nose houses a gyroscope.

In Flight Movie
I never got good in flight video for this one, but here is what I have...


Only 24 bits. The chunk of Bionicle helped with reduced part count. The studded pins go one up for the pilot's "neck" and two down to fix the body to the cannonball. The red grid was just me being lazy, not looking for a 2x1 studless plate.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Steam Punk Disco

Ah, yes, the wonders of "up front" sound (precursor of stereo, quad, and surround), in glorious mono-blend phonic. All the sound of the band from one condensed source.

The compact low pressure condensing engine drives a ratcheted reciprocal winder under the gramaphon for hours of entertainment. Hi Fi 12 7/8 rpm bitumen disks can hold up to 20 minutes of a 12 piece band. Maybe that's where that phrase came from...
(these two images need to be an ani-gif, so you can see the engine running.)

Add to this the dazzling light FX of strobestom, a phosphorescent isotope found by Admiral V. Jules of the French "Maritime Sous-nautique Expedition" in underwater caves near Fiji.

Flushed with the success of this project I built an "Allez Allez Fille" cage. (Babel fish translated "go-go girl" to "aller-vont la fille", which translates back to "outward journey-go the girl"). See Samantha in her swashbuckling garb swing her bustle...

I pulled the fence off so you could see what was going on inside.

The Builds

The Disco lights - Bionicle of course. The piston came from a 4 cylinder technic hot rod of about 15 years ago. The hose (sound conduit) was Lego brand pneumatic hose. You may argue that it is a modified part, but the hose is sold in long lengths at legoeducation.com and is a cut to length item. Stylus (needle) was a small ice axe, probably Alphateam, may have been Dino Attack.

30 parts, breaking the door down to windows etc. Minifig is an extra 5, 3+ hair and cape. Yes, the dreamy look is half drowned Ron Weasley.

That nice rocky base is from the Pirakah Stronghold - Bionicle. I think it may have appeared in Castles too. The tan piece wiht the hatchway is from the T1 Typhoon, the Dino Attack helicopter. Various bionicle bits, and a hand me down exhaust pipe. The scrolly thing holding the gates closed came with the "Order of the Phoenix" Hogwarts Castle.

base (+4 clips and two plates) = 7
gates (4 gates, 2@(3 1x1, 4 clips, 1 cylinder, 1 cone, 1 flame), 1 4x1 flat Celtic Braid print) = 25
back wall - 5 beams, 1 wall piece, 2@double pin, bionicle "foot?", exhaust, small pirakah tool = 11
Pirate in dress (head, scarf, torso, upper skirt (2x2 slope) lower skirt (2x2 brick) = 5

Total, 48, oh, turntable = 49.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Flitter Flyer

Ever since I don't know when I've been interested in this stuff. "Space 1889's" concept of Liftwood Flyers was fascinating to me. The classic idea of a flapping flier just seemed too much fun. So here is mine.

Here we have the flyer with the wings out of phase, lifting the rear as the nose drops, then lifting the nose as the rear drops. I saw how airsickness would quickly come on with this motion, so we put the gearing so they fly in sync.

The Synched flight has the rear wings traveling a little farther than the front, this is so the pilots flight is not obscured, and the rear wings are taking more of the load. The upstroke is faster than the downstroke where the little plutonic steam turbine is fighting the weight of the flyer.

I did make a dirigible a couple of weeks ago.

Part Count
As for the build. 47 pieces in the flyer. The mini-figure included brings the part count to 51. Lets not mention the flying base as seen in the stills. That is not part of the set, and was only an aid to photographing the set. Do the small antennae count as one part or two each? I counted them as one, since that is how it is in LDD.

If I had to sacrifice a part, I'd probably lose the front two railings. They sit higher than the rest because of the wing mounts. If I had unlimited part I would have raised the rest of the fence to match using some grey 4x1 plates.

Part Sources
So most of the parts are borrowed from my sons. Sure I have plenty myself, but it's Technic and older vintage space. The pilot is wearing Diggers (Dino Attack/Dino 2010) leather flying/football helmet, he is also wearing Catwomans leather suit, and Luke Skywalkers head.

The Build
Now for the parts lists, and the step by step building....

The Movies
So I used monkey jam to make the movie sequences, using our Logitech Pro 9000 webcam. The images were PNG files. I used Paint to remove the flying base frame by frame, but since there are only 15 images in total, this was not too painful.

The Conclusion
I was actually the first post in the entries, and joint 8th place in the "Reasonable Clever" Steampunk build competition. Since the rules only permitted one prize per entrant, I still got a little something.